On this week’s So You Think You Can Dance choreographer Stacey Tookey created a routine for Katheryn and Legacy about a woman struggling with fear.
Many people remarked that it was very similar to last season’s routine “Addiction” by Mia Michaels.
While I see the similarities, I enjoyed Tookey’s piece much more. I found the Mia routine problematic because it was so violent – seeming to relish in the beauty of the woman’s victimization. It made me uncomfortable to watch, and wondered how the piece might change had the roles been reversed. Mia’s known for her preference for male dancers and the series hasn’t exactly been on the forefront of challenging gender norms in the dance world. Men are men and women are women – and while there’s nothing inherantly wrong with that, it too often means that men are strong and women are weak. The Tookey piece was refreshing because it while the woman is obviously struggling with her fears, she’s not being victimized by them. She’s in control. If he comes back it’s because she lets him. She repeatedly pushes him away and finally succeeds in triumphing over her fear.